AFC Notes: Lamar Jackson, Bengals, Ravens

Lamar Jackson

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta offered some insight into how the team will approach the coming contract negotiations with their star QB Lamar Jackson.

“If you got to the Bentley dealership or the Range Rover dealership, you know what the cars are going to cost. You’re not going to get much of a discount,” DeCosta said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “They all cost about the same, and you go in there with the idea that you’re either going to buy the car or you’re not going to buy the car. … In the end, they’re all very big contracts. They’re outstanding players. They’re quarterback deals. They’re marquee players and you know you’re going to pay a lot, but you’re going to get a lot in return.”

“We’re confident and committed to trying to get a long-term deal done, and hopefully we can get that done at some point in the near future,” DeCosta added. “It might take a little time, but we’re willing to try.”

Jackson did not have an agent in his first season when he was coming out of the draft and negotiating his rookie deal. It’s unclear if that’s changed, DeCosta didn’t offer any insight. He did say he and Jackson had talked face-to-face recently, which helps possibly reconcile conflicting reports about whether negotiations have started between the two. 

“I have spent time with Lamar personally, one-on-one, not texting (and) actually being together with him,” DeCosta said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “It was great. We talked about a lot of different things — the team, his family, his goals and dreams for the future, what he loves about the organization. We laughed a lot. I talked about some stories and he likes to hear stories about players that we scouted and drafted over the years. It’s been really healthy and really, really good. I think we started to talk about what a contract might look like, but we haven’t really necessarily gotten into all the weeds and all of the nuances of all those types of things, but that will be coming at some point soon.”


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison analyze the Bengals’ decision to not place the franchise tag on either CB William Jackson or DE Carl Lawson. Morrison believes Jackson is likely to walk and get offers from other teams for more than Cincinnati is willing to match. 
  • Not tagging Lawson has a few more layers that Dehner and Morrison get into, as he was one of their only consistent pass rushers on a defense that was bad at pressuring the quarterback overall.
  • However, the tag might have pushed his value up much higher than what the Bengals had in mind on a long-term deal, going from perhaps $10-$12 million a year to $15-$16 million. Now Lawson will test the market and both sides will get a good sense of what his value is. 
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor refused to predict if Lawson or Jackson would be back in 2021: “That’s impossible for me to say.” (Tyler Dragon)
  • Taylor is “very comfortable” playing OL Jonah Williams at left tackle. (Tyler Dragon)
  • Taylor gave reporters a positive update on RB Joe Mixon on Wednesday: “Joe’s good. He’s working out. I know he feels really good right now.” (Ben Baby)
  • Iowa WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette will meet with the Bengals. (Justin Melo)
  • The Bengals attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Pro Day to observe OL Quinn Meinerz. (Owen Riese)
  • Kansas State DE Wyatt Hubert mentioned the Bengals as a team he’s spoken to a lot this offseason. (Herbie Teope)


Ravens GM Eric DeCosta spoke on a wide variety of topics Tuesday. He indicated that while OT Orlando Brown‘s trade request still stands, he’s not worried about Brown becoming a distraction if asked to play out the final season of his rookie deal at right tackle. He also notes that Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley has needed two surgeries on his injured ankle and Brown is a top-notch insurance policy. 

“We’ll do what’s best for Orlando and we’ll do what’s best for the Ravens,” DeCosta said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “These things take time sometimes. A lot of different scenarios in how this thing could play out. We’re blessed to have him on the team. He’s an excellent player.”

DeCosta noted that Ravens DT Brandon Williams, speculated as a possible cap casualty given his age, position and savings, is probably going to be back in 2021. 

“He’s a valued player to the team,” DeCosta said. “It’s hard to find guys like him. He fits our mentality. As a nose tackle, these guys can play for a long time. He plays hard, he plays good, he’s one of us. He’s a Raven through and through, so yes, I expect him to be on the team.”

Ravens TE Mark Andrews is also very high on Baltimore’s priority list when it comes to extensions in the near future. 2021 is the final year of Andrews’ rookie deal. 

“We’ve had some preliminary discussions,” DeCosta said. “It’s interesting, Mark has the same agents as Orlando. We’ve spent some time talking to those two guys: Joe Panos and Justin Schulman. They are outstanding agents. We started discussions on all these types of things. We try to be as aggressive and proactive as possible with our players looking forward, pushing things out. That’s a part of it. Mark’s a very good player. I love everything about Mark — his personality, his ability, work ethic, demeanor, competitiveness. He’s got a great family. Again, he’s the type of guy we want to keep.”

  • Zrebiec points out that DeCosta referenced the coaching staff in regards to their plans at center, which to him is an indication they have penciled in moving G Bradley Bozeman to center for now. 

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